883 people worldwide were executed last year – the highest level since 2017. This is stated in a report by the non-governmental organization “Amnesty International”, quoted by “France Press”.
A total of 20 countries are known to have carried out executions in 2022, a figure that represents a 53% increase over the previous 12 months.
The report specified that this number did not include the “thousands” of prisoners secretly killed in China, but did count the “staggering” 81 people executed in just one day in Saudi Arabia.
The ominous ranking is believed to be topped by China. It was followed by Iran (576 executions), Saudi Arabia (196 – their highest number in 30 years), Egypt (24) and the United States (18).
The death penalty is also widely used in North Korea and Vietnam, but as in China, the numbers there remain “shrouded in secrecy,” Amnesty International said.
In the Middle East and North Africa, a significant increase in the number of executions was reported in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt.
Nearly 40% of the registered death sentences are for drug-related crimes – in Singapore, 11 people were executed for a similar offence.
The NGO stressed that this violates international human rights laws, which only allow executions for crimes such as premeditated murder.
“It is time for governments and the UN to increase the pressure on those responsible for these flagrant violations of human rights and ensure the introduction of international safeguards,” insisted Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.
However, the organization also found “a glimmer of hope” in six countries that partially or completely abolished the death penalty last year. These are the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone and Zambia.
“The brutal actions of countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, as well as China, North Korea and Vietnam are now firmly in the minority. These countries urgently need to get in step with the times, protect human rights and exercise justice, not execute people Callamard emphasized.
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